Nairobi, 6 November 2014- On 6 October, the magistrate at the Malindi Law Courts denied the application for bail pending appeal of human rights defender Joel Ogada.

Kenyan human rights defender Joel Ogada has faced multiple charges in several court cases. In the latest case (criminal case 41/2013), Ogada has been charged with arson and has been convicted to seven years  imprisonment, following a ruling made on 16 May 2014.

Ogada denies all charges and had since appealed through the support of National Commission of Human Right Defenders. Last 6 October, the magistrate has come to the decision that his application for bail pending appeal has been rejected.

Joel Ogada is a farmer in the Marereni area, Kilifi County at the Kenyan coast. Since the investment of the salt companies in the Marereni area, community members have faced numerous human rights violations. Ogada has been among the more vocal and visible human rights defenders working closely with the Malindi Rights Forum (MRF).

Human rights organisations, including Protection International, believe that the imprisonment of Ogada is a wider strategy to silence him and other community members in order to work undisturbed on the respective piece of land.

Protection International has monitored the situation in the Marereni area closely. You can find out more about the land dispute as well as the personal situation of Mr Ogada here.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Protection International at kenya@protectioninternational.org